As was reported yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI announced the names of the new cardinals following today’s general audience. The Holy Father’s newest selections contain a couple surprises: the first US cardinal from a Texas diocese and a break with the precedent set by Paul VI to keep the number of papal electors limited to 120 cardinals.
Pope Benedict announced the names of 23 prelates who will be made cardinals in a consistory on November 24, the eve of the Feast of Christ the King. Of the 23 new cardinals, 18 will be under the age of 80, thus bringing the total number of electors to 121.
"The new cardinals come from various parts of the world," said the Holy Father. "And the universality of the Church, with the multiplicity of her ministries, is clearly reflected in them. Alongside deserving prelates who work for the Holy See are pastors who dedicate their energies to direct contact with the faithful."
Two Americans are among the cardinals-designate, Archbishops John Foley and Daniel DiNardo. Their selection brings to 17 the number of U.S. cardinals; after the November consistory, 13 of the U.S. group will be possible papal electors.
The Holy Father also mentioned that he wished to honor a Polish bishop who died on Tuesday. "Among these, I had also intended to confer the dignity of cardinal upon the elderly Bishop Ignacy Jez of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland, a worthy prelate who died suddenly yesterday. We offer a prayer for the repose of his soul."
He continued: "There are other persons, very dear to me who, for their dedication to the service of the Church, well deserve promotion to the dignity of cardinal. In the future I hope to have the opportunity to express, also in this way, my esteem and affection to them and to their countries of origin."
Benedict entrusted the future cardinals "to the protection of Mary Most Holy asking her to help each of them in their new tasks, that they may know how to bear courageous witness in all circumstances to their love for Christ and for the Church."
The new cardinal electors are as follows:
- Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
- Archbishop John Patrick Foley, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
- Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
- Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."
- Archbishop Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's.
- Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
- Archbishop Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.
- Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente of Valencia, Spain.
- Archbishop Sean Baptist Brady of Armagh, Ireland.
- Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.
- Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, France.
- Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Italy.
- Archbishop Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal.
- Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India.
- Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega of Monterrey, Mexico.
- Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Odilio Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Archbishop John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya.
Having pronounced the names of the new cardinal electors, the Pope then indicated that he had also decided to elevate to the dignity of cardinal "three venerable prelates and two worthy priests," all over the age of 80 and hence non-electors, for their "commitment and service to the Church." Their names are:
- His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq.
- Archbishop Giovanni Coppa, apostolic nuncio.
- Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic, emeritus of Parana, Argentina.
- Fr. Urbano Navarrete S.J., former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
- Fr. Umberto Betti O.F.M., former rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.